Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chicken Manifesto, Chapter 2: Drawn and Quartered

So you got your bird. Name it. (I don't have any bird names for you, but at the end of this post you'll find a list of cat names I came up with recently in the spirit of John Hodgman's "700 Hobo Names.") You can brine it and roast it (as we did last night), or do a beer can chicken (if you haven’t tried this technique yet, do it—it’s really good), or you can quarter it and spread the parts out over a couple meals. To quarter a bird you’ll need:

A good, sharp butcher’s knife
A large cutting surface
Ziploc bags
A mixing bowl

1. Remove the naughty bits from inside the bird and place them into Ziploc bag “A.” (Bag A will be the stock bag. Some chefs say to not use the kidneys for stock, but again I don’t give a fuck. Mostly because I can’t tell which ones are the kidneys. My grandma always used to say, “Nothing wrong with a little chicken piss.” My grandma never said that.)

2. Wash and thoroughly dry the bird.

3. Place the bird on a sturdy cutting board breast side up. Cut off the leg and thigh. I make a small incision in the skin and then pop that bone out of the socket, get a knife in that socket and separate it from the body.

4. Remove the wings. The socket is in under the breast, so you have to, again, get a knife deep in there, find the joint, and then just lop it off. You should have four pieces—wings and leg/thigh—separated from the bird. They all go into Ziploc bag “B.” (Tip (no pun intended): cut the tips off the wings and place them in the stock bag. Nothing to eat there.)

4. Run your knife down each side of the breastbone and cut off the breasts. This is about as easy to explain as “how to ollie.” “Learn by doing!” was my college’s stupid motto. With practice, you’ll get it. Place the breasts in a bowl.

We didn't film our own chicken quartering because we roasted it whole last night, but I found this lady on youtube. It's not exactly how I do it, but it's better than the NINE FUCKING MINUTE VIDEO SOME STUPID CANADIAN ASSHOLE made. The only difference is I cut down the breast bone and separate the breasts from the ribs. And I don't halve the breasts. Who wants half a tit?

5. Put the entire carcass into the stock bag. (Another tip: add old veggies to this bag when it’s in the freezer: broccoli stalks, old celery, carrots, etc.)

After you’ve washed your hands and the knife and everywhere else you got chicken gunk on, you should have two breasts in one bowl, a bag with two wings, two legs and two thighs, plus another bag with the carcass and the naughty bits. Throw the carcass bag into the freezer until you’re ready to make stock. (More on that in a minute.) Throw the wing/leg/thigh bag into the refrigerator for meal #2. Keep the breasts out for meal #1.

Optional: brine the wing/leg/thigh parts in the bag overnight. We brine just about everything these days. It makes pork and poultry especially juicier and more flavorful. Take four cups of water and dissolve a ¼ cup of Kosher salt in it. Pour over chicken in bag. You can add whatever else you want, peppercorns, garlic, lemon, rosemary, thyme, brown sugar, etc.. You can even throw a quick brine on the breasts before you cook them.

Way to go. Quartering a chicken was the hardest, grossest part. And while you didn’t slaughter the bird yourself, you’re at least a little closer to the meat you’re about to eat. With practice, you’ll be able to do it in a matter of minutes. Hey! You’re awesome! And we’re proud of you.

Next up, “Tits for Dinner!”

Yo, yo, yo, Gary's 'bout to quarter Beckett, dawg. (Lens distortion. They're really about the same size. If anything, Gary is bigger. Click on it for a better view.)

And now, bring on the cats:

Catchup and Mustard, Purrrl Onions, Kitty Litter Carl, Billy Part Goat, Hit Paws, Nel the Fartin’ Starfish, Great Cat Less Filling, Bounty the Dog Hunter, Sleep Flat Barbequat, Pay Palico, Always Barfing Barney, Never Not Barfing Nancy, Puke Skywalker, Same But Different The Every Cat, Meowissey, Meowdonna the Material Cat, Stuck Up Shit Bitch, Tongue Bath Terry, Adolf Kitler, KITTYKITTYKITTYKITTY, Catatonic Tony the Tonic Cat, Floor Mop Phillip V, Al Lergic, Independent Claws, Come to Mommy Edamame, Pasadena Pete the Bum Cat, Big Pussy the Big Pussy, Mittens the Elder, Burnaby the Brawler with No Collar, Fish Breath Frank, Goblin’ Giblets Gilbert, Hyperion Always in Heat, Little Larry Litter Coat, Princess Shit Butt, Colonel Catnip, DJ Cuttin’ n’ Scratchin’, Purrrfect Pukin’ Pete Not Very Purrrfect, Mr. Fuck Off, Grandpa Switchblades, Apostrophe the Catastrophe, Never Neutered Newman’s Son, Hackin’ Hairball Harry aka The Triple H Ranch, St. Cat Rick, Catriotic Pat… that’s all I got so far. I know it’s not 700, but it’s far too many, that’s for sure.

Pussy on cock! I know, I know, that's a hen.


Twig said...

you forgot late cats name...

beth + todd said...

Does your cat actually enjoy wearing that hoodie?